The two staunch conservatives running multibillion dollar company Koch Industries are involved in creating an advocacy group tasked with taking down electric vehicles, The Huffington Post reports. Thought cars were your escape from 2016 politics? Ha.
Charles and David Koch’s company is the second largest private company on Earth, and a firm that got its start in the oil refining business back in the 1940s. The brothers are both very vocal conservatives, speaking out against legislation aimed to reduce global warming.
James Mahoney, a member of the company’s board who’s in close with the Koch brothers, has allegedly been leading the charge on creating a large petroleum-based fuels advocacy group whose aim it is to “make the public aware of all the benefits of petroleum-based transportation fuels [that] the current administration has a bias toward phasing out.”
The organization is expected to spend about $10 million dollars per year on research and media coverage aimed to discourage government incentives on EVs, and to strengthen public perception of petroleum-based fuels in transportation applications.
The Huffington Post explains the Koch brothers’ perspective, saying:
The Koch brothers have repeatedly voiced skepticism that fossil fuel use contributes to global warming, and have long maintained that subsidies and tax breaks for alternative energy don’t fit with their free-market libertarian ideology.
James Mahoney has teamed up with former head of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and prominent lobbyist Charlie Drevna, and the two have supposedly flown around the nation speaking with major energy company executives and wealthy conservative donors in an attempt to get the yet unnamed group up on its feet.
The new private interests group will be up and running by this spring or summer, and Koch Industries will be lead financier, according to The Huffington Post’s sources.
Okay, so we’ve got billionaire oil tycoons trying to stifle electric vehicle development. That’s probably the least surprising thing you’ve read all day.
What is surprising is that Charles and David Koch went to MIT, so you’d think they’d be rational, logical human beings who base their ideas on science and, you know, facts.
But to offset their education from world’s finest institute of technology, the Koch brothers are intransigent right-wingers. It’s a weird combination, as right-wing (and left-wing) nutjobs tend to ignore anything resembling facts, and engineers and scientists tend to base every decision upon them.
But alas, money talks and political affiliation clouds judgement, so in the wake of C.A.F.E. legislation, EV subsidies and Obama’s newly proposed $10-a-barrel oil tax, you can see why the two billionaires are getting a little hot around the collar. They’ve got a horse in the race, and our government is feeding the other steeds steroids.
And as Huff Po mentions, those EVs are starting to win more and more races, saying: “Electric vehicles make up just 1 percent of the U.S. market, but some analysts see them rising to as much as 5 percent by 2025.”
So what does the world’s biggest proponent of electric vehicles and founder of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, think about all this? Well, he responded like we all do when we hear something extremely idiotic:
He also made mention of the fact that oil companies, too, are reaping the benefits of heavy government and private subsidies: